The town of Norway held a ceremony Friday afternoon to dedicate Longley Park Square at Main and Deering streets. A plaque notes the park name, the donor and the dedication date.

NORWAY — About 20 people braved the cold and rain to attend the Longley Park Square dedication ceremony Friday afternoon at Main and Deering streets.

A granite marker with a plaque noting the name, donor and dedication date marks the site. 

John M. Longley rented the land next to his hardware store at 419 Main St. to the town several years ago, with the caveat that he would not pay taxes on it. After Longley died in 2016 at the age of 86, Town Manager David Holt said Longley had expressed a desire to give the property to the town. The board accepted it in January and agreed to name it after him.

Addressing Longley’s family, friends and fellow residents Friday, Holt lauded the longtime businessman, his family and their love of the town.

Longley’s father, Forrest, and grandfather, Leon, had operated the store since 1902.

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John Longley’s son, Jon, read a prepared statement and asked those in attendance to “reflect on the historical significance of this property.”

“L. M. Longley & Sons closed its doors for good on Dec. 31, 2015, and many were saddened to see the oldest hardware store in the great state of Maine say goodbye,” Longley said.

He said his father “always had a vision of integrity (and) leaving things better than one found them.”

“It was his wish and desire to donate this piece of real estate to Norway for the betterment of Norway, its citizens and its visitors,” Longley said. “As we leave here today, may we all have pleasant memories of history past, and form new memories in what shall now be known as Longley Park Square.”

Following the ceremony, Angela Harvey, who bought the hardware store and opened the Green Machine Bike Shop there with her husband, John, invited everyone to view old architectural plans for the building and the town square.

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Jon Longley reads a statement at Friday’s dedication of Longley Park Square, which is named after his father, the late John M. Longley. The square is next to the former L.M. Longley & Sons Hardware Store on Main Street in Norway

Norway Town Manager David Holt, left, speaks at the dedication of Longley Park Square on Friday afternoon. 


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